Major CEO: "When I’m Done, There Will Be No Pay Gap."

April 23rd 2015

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is not a fan of the gender pay gap, and he won't have any of it at his company. The cloud computing company founder told The Huffington Post on Thursday that he plans to review the salaries of all 16,000 Salesforce workers in order to provide equal pay for everyone within the next few years. Some women have already received raises.

“I expect to be giving a lot more,” Benioff, who also recently spoke out against LGBT discrimination in Indiana, said in an interview with HuffPost. "My job is to make sure that women are treated 100 percent equally at Salesforce in pay, opportunity and advancement.

At present, he doesn't have exact numbers on Salesforce's gender pay disparity, but told HuffPost, "When I’m done there will be no gap."

Benioff says his efforts are part of Salesforce's larger project titled Women’s Surge, which he launched two years ago after noticing there were too few women working at his company. Under the initiative, Salesforce intends to involve more women at conferences and in meetings, and Benioff is also committed to giving every woman a fair shot at moving up in the company, "Not a single one of my execs hires or promotes without evaluating every woman candidate," he stated.

The history of the pay gap

This comes a little more than a week after National Equal Pay Day, which aims to raise awareness about the pervasive discrepancy between male and female pay for equal work. It's well known that the average woman earns 78 cents on the man's dollar, or $435,049 over the course of a 40 year career. Earlier this year, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) published a report revealing it will also take more than four decades for the pay gap to disappear. The IWPR concluded this after observing the progress of gender pay equality since the 1960s. In 1980, women took home 60 cents for every dollar earned by men, so while there have been improvements to the pay gap overtime, the progress remains slow enough that some young women could very well retire before workplace pay equality is achieved. The findings revealed some states will see the pay gap close much sooner than others as well. For example, California is expected to close its gap by 2042, but Wyoming women will have to wait until 2159.

Gender pay gap

Institute for Women's Policy Research


Salesforce's promise

It might seem silly to praise a CEO for promising equal pay, which, let's be honest, should be a given in any job, but Benioff is being more proactive than many of his CEO counterparts by addressing the problem so vocally and vigilantly. For this, he deserves recognition. Voters, of course, can also play a role in making change by casting ballots for candidates who support equal pay.

You can register to vote at OurTime.org.

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